When you gander down the list of activities to return in a post-coronavirus world, music festivals would sadly appear to be a long way towards the bottom.
And in case you weren’t aware, it takes a village to build a large scale Australian music festival.
One such village is the Perth-based event construction crew, Cyclus.
“Born out of the brains of a few local lads,” the Cyclus team were getting flown around the country to most of the major Australian music festivals, “providing expertise on event site operations, management, and labour.”
Since the industry has been shutdown, co-founder Dylan Splatt and his crew have been looking for new ways to get their hands dirty, and have turned their attention to one of WA’s best assets – our beaches.
We got to know Dylan and his team a little better – read on below and if you know of any beaches around WA needing a bit of Cyclus TLC, make sure you hit ’em up.
Can you tell us a little about Cyclus – who you are and what you do?
Cyclus is a leader in Event Construction and Crewing for Australia. Born out of the brains of a few local lads, our team now get flown around the country to the majority of Oz music festivals, providing expertise on event site operations, management, and labour.
How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected your business firstly?
Since COVID-19 has taken away our events (boo) and the ability to travel the country (hiss), we have seen an almost 100% decline in requests for our service. But, we have been looking for new ways to get our hands dirty…
Personally, I think like most people, the concerns surrounding the pandemic have played on my mind and the minds of the people around me, causing conversations to become negative very easily. This isn’t good for anyone, but we often can’t help it. To combat this I have spent a lot of time challenging myself to learn new skills, namely surfing and drumming, neither of which I am any good at yet, but the excitement is in the progression.
My co-directors have also taken the mentality of developing new skills, furthering their education and working on passion projects (our clothing label Sufferfools springs to mind), and also becoming the epitome of mind, body, and soul. Fitness and reading are a big hit right now ha ha! My housemate and Cyclus employee Rob Molli has used his time perfectly in recording a single and writing new music, something that he rarely gets time for when events are on. To be honest, vibes are high.
What brought on the idea to start cleaning up the beaches?
It was only last Friday I was driving home from my local coffee shop thinking to myself, ‘What can we do to keep our team bonded during this time? What gives back to those who have given to us?’ It had really been a long time since I had seen the majority of our team, and as a company made up of mostly friends, that felt weird. I think with the amount of time I’ve been spending at the beach lately, combined with the sheer volume of events we construct on coastlines all around Australia, it just popped in and became a no brainer. I sent the idea to my two co-directors Aldo and Kyle and immediately they were like, ‘Yep this idea is killer’. There may have been a bit of excitable swearing as well, which may not be appropriate for some readers.
And how can people help?
We did our first clean up at Scarborough on Wednesday with our own bags and litter pickers and it worked a treat. We kept it sort of private just to make sure we weren’t doing anything wrong we didn’t know about – a trial run, so to speak. From now it’s an all-in exercise. We have had great communication with the City Of Wanneroo in targeting the shores of Two Rocks which can be notoriously dirty due to litterbug campers.
We will be reaching out to Keep Australia Beautiful as we have heard they have the ability to provide litter pickers and bags which would ease the cost of the operation, which is vital for us at this time of little-to-no-income.
To lend a hand with the cleanup follow @cyclus_ on Instagram and we will post a photo and/or story of when and where the next clean up will take place in the few days prior. This operation is far from perfect, so to start if volunteers could please bring there own gloves, bags, and litter pickers that would be awesome! It is doubtful we will get to the point of hosting a big rally at the beginning of each cleanup, with the cliche leader yelling over a megaphone. When you rock up just link yourself up with whoever looks the part – we are a lovely bunch we promise.
As far as helping Cyclus as business goes, we would love for everyone who has purchased a ticket to any event, to keep it! Everyone in events is doing it tough right now, and if we want to see events the same as before we need to ensure the people putting them on have the funds to make it happen. The events industry as a whole is a labour of love. The cost, not only in dollars and cents but in sleepless nights, hoops jumped through, red tape debated, and critical, exhausting conversations had, to bring the artists we love to our very own stages in Australia, is mind-blowing. We need you to support our clients, the promoters that bring you the festivals we build, to ensure that music can be heard loud and live, as soon as possible.
It must be frustrating not really knowing what the future holds – do you have any idea of when things might turn around?
I would define the feeling as weird, but not frustrating. We at Cyclus adore our jobs. Watching and being a part of the construction of music events of all types is a truly fulfilling experience. The high on life feeling comes hard and often, and that feeling is sorely missed.
We are hedging our bets that we see our smaller events return around years end, probably seeing major festivals return the following summer. This is not an informed opinion it is honestly a hunch. Without major festivals, we will need to keep our minds and bodies active in relevant ways, and we have a few ideas about how we can do that, but nothing that would detract from our service as a leader in event construction and crewing.
After beaches, what’s next?
After beaches, we will probably start again at Scarborough, where it all began, and cycle through. Beyond that, anywhere wildlife is under threat of litter is the priority. We would put the pressure on local governments to clean up their own streets, but understand that our team with 4WDs is going to be able to reach the places governments not always can. That is where our strength lies.